(USA) - Language Teacher
June 3, 2008 - El Salvador
|Evin, Luisa and Irma on graduation day|
I have been volunteering at NPH El Salvador for four months. I am the sole volunteer. By now, the novelty of speaking a new language and living in a different culture has retreated to a little waiting room in the back of my mind. Right now I am a language teacher in a school that could be anywhere. The distinction of my situation is that I live among the students, and I am not only their teacher, but their father, their mother, their funny older brother, their foreign uncle, and a part of their family.
Coming from an environment that puts emphasis on consumerism, money, and successful career jobs, it has been a nice change to take a different perspective on living away from the world I knew. It has opened my eyes to the entire world, not just the relatively small city I inhabit. I can honestly say that I have learned more about myself and how small communities function than I have in any other part of my life.
Until now, I have never been in the less than 1% minority of a community. It is a challenge. I am still learning the language and also learning to teach. I am tested by the kids each day, which drives me to work harder. One thing that I have learned here is the value of that hard work. I was recently called an “aragan” by one of the kids, which means lazy, because I did not want to get up at 5:30 and walk an hour to help his adoptive family in a nearby town on a Sunday morning. I went, but on the walk I wondered what he would call me if he saw me in the United States.
Evin Thomas Boyle